As a Jesus-following leader, the most important resource for your ministry is the Bible. As Paul reminded Timothy, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
But how well do you know the Bible? What sections of the Bible should you give priority to address gaps in your familiarity? How could you design a reading plan to address your biggest gaps?
The only way to objectively answer these questions is by taking a comprehensive Bible test.
Dr. J. Robert Clinton has defined a Bible-centered leader is one…
- whose leadership is informed by the Bible,
- who has been shaped personally by biblical leadership values,
- who has grasped the intent of Scriptural books and their content in such a way as to apply them to current situations, and,
- who uses the Bible in ministry so as to impact followers.
The italicized part of the definition references the importance of grasping the intent and content of the Bible with a focus on applying truth to everyday life and leadership. In short, Bible-centered leaders know the Bible, because they consistently engage with Scripture by applying the Equipping Formula:
An important part of doing in-depth study is identifying your favorite or “core material,” the passages, characters, and books of the Bible that God has uniquely used to spur your growth or solve your problems. You can’t identify a book, character, or passage of the Bible as part of your “core” if you haven’t engaged it sufficiently to give the Holy Spirit the opportunity to personally apply it to your life.
There is a direct link between your level of Bible knowledge and your journey toward Bible-centered leadership. You can’t really assess your Bible knowledge without a comprehensive resource like the Bible Mastery Proficiency Instrument, developed by Dr. J. Robert Clinton.
The BMPI is divided into four sections:
Section 1: Familiar Passages (110 questions) – questions about promises, words of comfort, and the revelation of God’s character.
Section 2: General Bible (105 questions) – questions about the timing, nature, structure, major content and major themes of the books of the Bible.
Section 3: Biblical Leaders (65 questions) – questions about the leaders in the Bible, both good and bad.
Section 4: Miscellaneous (20 questions) – general questions about the people and activities in the Bible.
Think of the BMPI as a learning experience instead of a test. Your score will reveal your current level of overall Bible knowledge, and the report will show the sections of the Bible you should prioritize in future familiarity reading. You can come back and retake the BMPI as many times as you want.